Ascent of Briar Hill on 2015-07-20
|Date:||Monday, July 20, 2015|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||1706 ft / 519 m|
Ascent Trip ReportDate: July 20, 2015
Author: Michael Schwartz
Briar Hill contends with Grove Hill, Osceola County HP, for the state prominence leader and Lower Peninsula highpoint titles.
I followed Fred Lobdell's cohp.org report in large part, but stumbled onto what I think may be an easier approach with more driving on pavement.
From the junction of MI-115 and 55, drive west on MI-55 for about 13 miles to a well-marked and signed (for Harrietta) turnoff onto paved South 13 Road. This changes direction a couple of times and becomes North 11 1/4 Road for a while before reverting to South 13 Road, but if you stay on the main road and avoid turning into the Caberfae resort (where the main road bears right), the road leads directly to the little town of Harrietta after 7-8 miles. In Harrietta, turn left onto W. Campbell St., then right onto S. 13 Road. Go about 1/2 mile north and turn right onto the signed W. 28 1/2 Road. Go east a little less than a mile and turn left onto S. 15 Road. Drive north about 1 1/4 miles to a T-intersection with Forest Service (FS) Road 5008. Turn right (east) onto FS 5008, go about 1/2 mile, and turn left (north) onto FS 5006 (not 5007 as cited by Fred). Drive mostly north on 5006, which had two quite muddy sections even during this dry summer but was passable by my sedan, for about a mile to the junction shown on the topo just south of Briar Hill. Park here and walk up the left road a few feet to where the old bermed road to the tower is visible. Hike this sometimes obscure road, making use of parallel ATV paths for about 1/2 mile to the summit.
Key coordinates (WGS-84 datum):
1. Turnoff from W 28 1/2 Rd. onto S. 15 Road: N44.31634 W85.68067
2. Terminus of S. 15 Rd at FS 5008: N44.34105 W85.68895
3. Turnoff from FS 5008 onto FS 5006: N44.34249 W85.67990
4. Road junction, parking, and trailhead just south of Briar Hill: N44.35950 W85.67736
5. Summit of Briar Hill: N44.36616 W85.67938
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